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Netanyahu calls reported US F-35 sales to UAE 'fake news'

UAE Made

Last week, US President Donald Trump announced a deal between Israel and the UAE to normalize their relations. Speculation has emerged that these two countries, along with Sudan, may move to establish diplomatic relations with Israel next.

It is also an attempt to eradicate a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine proposed by the worldwide community, Ömer Çelik, spokesman for the AKP said on Twitter.

What is the significance of such a deal?

Saudi Arabia has been a key presence among Arab countries that are hostile to Israel.

In May, the Trump administration invoked a seldom used emergency provision to allow Trump to seal a deal selling precision-guided munitions and the F-35 to the Gulf powers, but the deal with Israel, which has been widely hailed as a breakthrough for Middle East peace, could provide a smoother path.

The US has sold the F-35 to allies - including Turkey, South Korea, Japan and Israel - but sales to the Gulf require a deeper review because of American policy for Israel to maintain a military advantage in the Middle East. Israel also fears sparking a regional arms race. Palestinians will get their state when they are ready to agree to a deal that makes Israel permanent, with secure borders, with a Jewish majority and its capital in Jerusalem. Netanyahu visited Chad for a renewal of ties in 2019.

According to Israel's Economy Ministry, the normalisation of ties could increase exports to the UAE to $300-$500 million annually (0.3%-0.4% of Israeli exports), and UAE investments in Israel could reach $350 million a year (1.9% of inbound foreign direct investment).

Palestine's top political groups Fatah and Hamas on Wednesday slammed the UAE-Israel deal as a "stab in the back and an obliteration of the [Palestinian] cause", Anadolu reports.

"It would be very good for Saudi business, it would very good for Saudi's defence, and, quite frankly, I think it would also help the Palestinian people", Kushner said. He also faces widespread criticism while on trial for charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

When asked by AFP on Tuesday if there had been direct contact between Sudan and Israel, or whether Khartoum had taken steps to normalise ties with the Jewish state or sign a peace deal, foreign ministry spokesman Haider Badawi responded, "I can not deny it". Israel, however, is warning against that, saying they oppose such sales.

Delegations from both countries will meet over the coming weeks to discuss agreements on travel, trade and the opening of diplomatic offices. "We will do all that is needed to turn this vision into a reality", he said.

What would it mean for the Palestinians?

Palestinians protested the deal which they saw as a betrayal by a major player in the Arab world, which has broadly held that normal ties with Israel are only possible once its dispute with the Palestinians is resolved.

The agreement is considered a severe blow to Palestinian efforts aimed at isolating Israel regionally and internationally until it ends its military occupation and apartheid-like system in occupied Palestine.